LAHORE: The forthcoming local government polls in Punjab will be held partly on a proportionate basis, reveal the election rules finalised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) here on Tuesday.

Political parties and electoral groups registered with the ECP may contest the polls. There will be a direct contest on the seats for lord mayor of metropolitan corporation, mayors of municipal corporations, municipal and town committees, while the seats of general councillors and reserved seats for minorities, women and workers will be allocated in proportion with the total votes bagged by each contesting party or electoral group in a local body.

Less than five per cent votes secured by a political party or electoral group will be excluded from the total votes polled, and the allocation of seats of general councillors and reserved seats in ranking order of candidates submitted by each contesting political party or electoral group.

Muslim candidates required to declare belief in finality of Prophethood

Like parliamentarians, all winning candidates, whether mayors or councillors, will declare within 30 days a list of their respective relatives and the assets owned by them and subsequently file asset declarations each year.

The rules prescribe an enhanced candidature fee for all categories: Rs25,000 for lord mayor, Rs20,000 for mayors, Rs15,000 for chairpersons of municipal/town committees, Rs15,000 for councillors of metropolitan and Rs10,000 for municipal corporation and committees.

Likewise, the ECP fixes Rs5 million as the election expense limit for candidates for the office of lord mayor, Rs2m for mayors of municipal corporations, Rs500,000 for municipal/town committees/tehsil councils chairmen. Similarly, the expense limit for a councillor of metropolitan corporation has been set at Rs500,000, for municipal corporation Rs300,000 and for municipal/town committees Rs100,000.

The contestants are also bound to submit with the ECP their election expense details as well as print the name of the printer/publisher on pamphlets, handbills and banners. Any voter may inspect election expense details after submitting a stamp fee of Rs10 per page within a year.

Muslim candidates will also have to submit along with their candidature a declaration of belief in the finality of Prophethood.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2020

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